THE REFUGEE SHIP
By Mike Lander on
Time to play detective. If you are unable to positively identify a photo regarding time and place at least you should try to determine what it is not. That is how we have always proceeded. This photo caught our eye. Was it a troop ship or a refugee ship? Close examination of the passengers ruled out the former as these are clearly not soldiers or sailors. So, refugees. We eliminated “boat people’ from Vietnam as the passengers appear to be Caucasian. Mariel boat lift from Cuba? Ship is way too large. Albanians fleeing to Italy? Wrong kind of ship.
Could these be survivors of the Titanic aboard the Carpathia? The hull does not match that of the Carpathia. Wish that is what it was, but the final answer is also significant. These are, in fact, Jewish refugees who were survivors of the Holocaust emigrating to Palestine (Israel) in 1948. Documentation that accompanied the photo set the date as 1948. The ship’s hull does not match the Exodus nor the Theodore Herzl. Possible match is the S.S. Patria, but we give a higher rating to the S.S. Providence which sailed from Marseilles. Again, we cannot be completely certain as to the name of this ship but its passengers and destination are beyond question.
“Jewish Refugee Ship“; Palestine (Israel, Feb. 1948).